The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which agreed to reduce output by 4 percent last month, may postpone further reduction plans at a meeting in Vienna as prices return close to US$50 a barrel. \n"Fifty dollars a barrel is not the time to be expecting another cut in production," said Daniel Yergin, the chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates and Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power. He spoke in an interview yesterday in Davos, Switzerland. \nMinisters from Kuwait, holder of the OPEC presidency, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Venezuela and Indonesia this week all said OPEC should maintain the current quotas. The Saudi oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, in Davos, yesterday declined to comment on prospects for the Jan. 30 Vienna meeting. The 11-member group pumps more than a third of the world's oil. \nOPEC will gather after the output cuts and cold weather in Europe and the US caused New York oil to reach US$49.75 a barrel this week, up 44 percent from a year earlier. The International Monetary Fund in November lowered its forecast for world economic growth this year to 4 percent, from 4.3 percent, citing oil. \nCrude oil for March delivery rose as much as 40 cents, or 0.8 percent, to US$49.18 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It traded at US$48.92 a barrel at 12:21pm Singapore time. \nOPEC this month has lowered output by 800,000 barrels a day to 29.6 million a day, according to estimates from Geneva-based consultant PetroLogistics Ltd, which assesses supply by tracking tankers. OPEC forecasts that members need to pump 27.7 million barrels a day in the second quarter to meet demand, almost 2 million less than current output. \nKuwaiti oil minister and OPEC president Sheikh Hamad Fahd al-Sabah said the group may have to reduce output at its next meeting, in March in Iran, the state-run Kuwait News Agency said yesterday. \n"The question is when do they act," said Roger Diwan, managing director at the Washington-based energy consultant PFC Energy. \nHe said a reduction of 1 million to 1.5 million barrels a day may come in the second quarter to balance supply and demand. \nThe group at the Vienna meeting may announce a supply cut that starts April 1, subject to a confirmation in March, Diwan said. \nIraqis go to the polls on the same day as the OPEC meeting for the first national elections since the US-led overthrow of former president Saddam Hussein. Car bombings and kidnappings targeting Iraqis participating in the election have increased in recent weeks. \nIraq's oil production averaged 2 million barrels a day last year. \n"It doesn't look like the insurgents have any intention of stopping," said Adam Sieminski, an oil strategist at Deutsche Bank AG in London. \n"In the short run, what the Iraqi government and oil ministry would like to do is just keep production somewhere in the range of 2 million to 2.5 million barrels a day," he said.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted